Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
So, let me state the obvious: I don’t have many friendships in my life; half of the reason is because of my SAD preventing me from building and keeping friendships and the fact that I’m not a good enough friend for others and, well, a lot of other insecure and anxious thoughts that come to my head.
Of course, this past year has been a year that I’ve gotten the chance to meet a ton of new people and make meaningful relationships with them in my life. It first started with my coworkers at the bookstore (who I miss with my whole heart; we all need to go back to work), which then it turned into others who I got to see every day in my routine, and now, we have some internet friends.
I’ve mentioned before that throughout the summer, I got into the Kpop trading community on Instagram to take my collecting more seriously and in the process, I’ve met some really awesome people in the community. It was refreshing to find people who were interested in Kpop and knew the groups that you liked as well! It’s no secret that my favorite Kpop group is Victon; they own my entire heart and to find people who see Victon in the same eyes was amazing. For once, I felt like I was allowed to talk about and go crazy for over the group that quietly enjoyed on my own for the last couple of months. The amount of Seungsik photos I get spammed on my trading account from my moots always attacks me, but so highkey appreciated.
In the weeks I’ve been in the community, I’ve made some friendships with people that I’m so glad to have now in my everyday routine and where we can help each other out with our collections.
Normally, I stray away from internet friendships because there’s always a sadness behind it: you never know if you’ll ever get the chance to meet them in person, and sometimes, friendships strive best when you see them in person! I also used to not see the point of having online friends or saw it as a negative thing. My lack of better judgment thought that online friends only exist for people who can’t keep IRL friends which isn’t true, but go off inner negative voice in my head. It wasn’t until I started to make some online friends on my own that I soon realize that any friendship is a friendship, whether or not it’s a traditional one or not. You can hang out with your online friends in watch parties (like I do very frequently with Ro) you could have mass group chats with a group of your friends and just have a good time in there; the choices are unless with the technology we have!
I appreciate my online friends in this community because they give an escape from the real world and give me a chance to just appreciate good Kpop music and fan-girl over them. My online friends (some younger than me, some older) have showed me that music as no age and anyone can enjoy it and that being a collector is not a dumb thing. If anything, being in this community has helped me embrace this part of my identity even more; it’s showed me that it’s okay to have such an interest in something that’s a little different than everyone else’s.
My friend Ro and I (I now know two Ro’s in my life: my mentor and now my kpop twin, haha) were talking about the importance of friendships and how the best kinds were the ones that involve both parties involved being open and comfortable enough to share their interests with each other. Being a person that hasn’t had many opportunities to discuss what I like and what my interests are to my friends, being in this community is one thing to have a common liking of a genre, but to actually be open to learning about groups you didn’t know about or didn’t listen to prior to meeting these people makes the friendships that more genuine and authentic. I’ve been more of myself these last couple of weeks more than I’ve been in my life, and that says a lot about the people you connect with in the community.
I am so grateful for people like Ro, Amy, Ella, Lae, and the others I’ve got the pleasure in knowing! I’m so happy that with the little time I’ve been on this side of the Kpop community, I was able to make online friendships that may one day be in person ones! Like, the group chat already got plans to do a whole tour to meet each other and when the day comes when Victon makes some U.S stops on a tour, you best to believe we are all going to be waving our vickeybongs and singing Victon songs and crying over our boys and honestly – any friendship, whether it is in person or online, is a friendship. It’s the same love and caring nature you feel when you build friendships in any way shape or form.
So, for my trading community friends, thank you for making this summer a great one and a fun one.
Thank you to Ella, the person who lives in Europe but feels so close like I’ve known her forever, thank you for encouraging me to make a trading account and thank you for always coming to me for advice when you need it and for also being so comfortable for sharing your story with me and vice versa. Thank you for also taking me under your wing and allowing me to be a apart of some of your Kpop activities with your friends like it makes me so happy that you seek out for my opinions on things and for always being comfortable enough to write me and share your work stories because best to believe, I’ll be sharing mine when I go back! You are amazing I can’t wait for the day you decide to come to NYC to visit your family so that we can do all the goofy and fun things together!
Thank you to Ro, who I’ve gotten the pleasure in getting to know and realize that we might’ve been twins in our past life, for everything you do and for always making me feel comfortable in being myself. Thank you for putting me onto all these new groups and for introducing me to watch parties, like it still means so much to me that you’d want to virtually hang out with me and gush over our boys together and for introducing so many new groups in my Kpop discography! Thank you for also understanding my insecurities of being an adult collector; you definitely helped me embrace the fact that I’m an adult collector and that Kpop is not just a thing for younger audiences. Also, thank you for understanding my ult love for Seungsik as I understand yours with Sejun! It makes me the happiest that I could go insane for Seungsik the way that I do and not feel shameful for doing so because, well, after the Seungsik fancam is a Sejun one and you’re pretty much doing the same thing! Also, putting this out into existence: we will get into a fansign one day and completely stop breathing in front of our boys because, like, well you already know the deal. (Also, thank you for giving me even more reason to visit South Korea when you move there; not only do I get to hang out with someone as awesome as you but I’d be crossing something off my bucket list of things to do in my lifetime! In the words of you yourself: SLAY!)
Thank you to Amy, possibly the one person on this planet that will always reign on top alongside with Subin because, y’know – “respect for the maknae, where” – for accepting me in your circle in the trading community. Before I got to know you, I followed your Victon edit account and felt like the biggest fan when I got to meet you because your edits were some the staple points in me falling hard for Victon and to be friends with someone who you admired as a creator was simply surreal, so thank you for taking me under your wing! Thank you for trusting me and if there’s something I appreciate more than ever, it’s that you feel comfortable enough to talk to me about things that worry you or stress you out; it means the world that my advice and my words can help you out in whatever you’re dealing with! Thank you for always making me smile and for also attacking me with Sik related things and a BIG thank you for helping me with my collection as well as providing me a space to be comfortable to share my excitement on my collection and vice versa! Thank you for loving Hanse the way I love Seungsik and the way Ro loves Sejun: unconditionally! Haha.
And for everyone else who I get to interact with and me myself with in the community, thank you so much for accepting my energy and for always supporting me whenever I’m not in the best of spaces. Your energy and your support means the absolute world to me, and it truly makes me feel like I’m not alone and that I, a person who fears that I deserve to be alone, actually isn’t. Thank you.